The pandemic has forced B2Bs to look closely at their demand generation strategies. Companies taking a repetitive approach find it difficult to thrive in this increasingly digital era. Customers have reclaimed majority stake in strategic decision making. 86% of customers would leave a brand after as few as two poor experiences!
And what not, B2B buyers are expecting a lot from the technology providers. They now want their vendor to offer more than just technology –a partner that will help them navigate through these challenging times and enable them to accelerate their business growth.
But how prepared are you?
Do you still believe market automation is the mantra?
Depend on data to guide you end-to-end?
Have you become excessively obsessed with market attribution software instead of making sense of reality?
Well, demand generation marketing is not going to be a cakewalk.
You need to identify and reevaluate your strengths as a company. What are the areas you can focus on to make an impact? How can you better reach and engage your target audience? There is no one-size-fits-all.
We'll discuss three ways in which demand generation has changed in the post-pandemic era: the need for transparency, the impact of new technologies, and the rise of social media. We'll also offer tips on how businesses can adapt their strategies to meet these challenges.
The pandemic has redefined how B2B businesses generate leads. Meeting people at trade shows, sending out mass emails, or placing ads in industry publications are past and are no longer as effective as they used to be.
Retaining leads, laying a path for lasting relationship have become more important than acquiring new ones. Company culture, employee relationships (sounds counterintuitive? but, Yes) have a significant role in this connection. Building customer relationships is a huge challenge before initiating sales pitch.
Reaching prospects has turned out to be a huge challenge for marketers, as it takes an average of 18 calls to connect with them. Even if you manage to reach, they are no longer interested in being sold to; they want to be educated and advised.
Then when will you make actual selling? We're saying it's become more involved and complex. B2B sales process has always been consultative, but it requires a new level of expertise now.
The good news is that there are now a variety of new methods for generating more effective leads. For example,
Inside sales or remote selling that involve cold calls or emails are still effective if you master listening skills.
Online Webinars are the best way to prove your expertise and build credibility among customers. 53% of marketers indeed say webinars are the top-of-the-funnel tactic that generate the most high-quality leads.
Customer referral program that's consistent is an ingenious way to get high-quality leads. Because they come from your most trusted customer who believes in your strength.
Similarly, crafting compelling landing pages, social media presence, SEM all add up to a sustainable organic lead generation that you need to master in the times to come.
Bottom line? Adapting to the new reality, agility is the need of the hour if you want to continue generating leads and growing your businesses.
You might wonder whether your old tactics for generating demand still work in today's environment. The answer, unfortunately, is no. Times have changed, and the way customers buy has evolved.
Priorities have changed. People are spending to buy products related to health, hygiene, cleaning and staples than other non-essentials.
In a McKinesey report, 67 percent of consumers say their online purchasing has increased since the start of the pandemic.
58% of buyers are spending more time on research than they did in the past. It's critical to build relationships and trust with your clients in order to succeed. If you don’t, your competitors will.
So what does work?
What a great way to educate potential buyers about your product and show them how it can solve their problems. 70% of buyers have ranked “relevant content that speaks directly to our company” as “very important”
Content creates inbound activities that pull prospects into your sales funnel. It includes blog postings, press releases, case studies, eBooks, white papers, infographics, films, emails, and so on.
Important step here is customer journey mapping. This lets you understand where your customers are in buying journey, when they're most likely to buy, and how ready they are to buy.
Following questions can guide your content strategy:
91% of consumers are more likely to visit a company's website after following and engaging with the brand on social media.
Active social media presence plays a majority role in creating demand.
By keeping in touch with your customers regularly! Social media platforms have everything and more to connect with potential customers and create lasting relationships. You can also use social media to share content, announcements, and product updates.
You build thought leadership and trust by providing valuable content on a regular basis. Prospects start seeing you as an expert in the field.
Use account-based marketing (ABM). ABM is a B2B strategy that involves targeting specific accounts with personalized messages. The goal is to build relationships with key decision- makers at target accounts and turn them into customers.
And the most used SM platforms by B2B marketers are
LinkedIn - 97%
Instagram - 30%
with video content ranking high in generating leads.
So, be afraid of going extinct if you are not using social yet.
Congratulate yourself on getting your first contact and handing it over to sales team? Well, not yet.
A long-term demand generation needs to think beyond making a first sale. You need to create a reliable future with your prospects. Nurturing leads is indispensable unless you want to lose them right after first a sale.
In fact, nurtured leads result in 20% more sales opportunities. It,
Accomplish this by,
Creating content that is relevant and helpful to those customers, and share it through the appropriate channels.
Close monitoring of lead feedback in order to adjust the content and messaging accordingly Lead scoring to filter more sales ready leads from others and personalise providing relevant material based on their sales readiness.
Demand generation is long-term thinking. A proper nurturing strategy will determine whether you're executing it perfectly or not. Whether or not leads will stick to you.
It's no secret that the pandemic has upended the way we do business. Sales process particularly has transformed drastically with increased digitisation. As sales people hardly get to spend time with prospects in person, accessibility and availability pose new challenges.
Before the pandemic it was research, finding your customer, planning first-steps of outreach, pitching, follow-up to close a deal.
But now you need to reimagine the offer with new narratives, language, and approaches. If You’ll be driving prospects away with persistent sales pitches.
The most difficult aspect of the sales process, according to 40% of salespeople, is prospecting. So, your sales reps need to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to sell in this new climate.
For example, you need to teach them how to:
- Use video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts
- Research their customers online
- Use data to inform their sales strategies
Here is how you can easily navigate the scenario:
Focus on building relationships with your leads by asking questions and getting to know them. Nealy 90% buy only when they see a salesperson as a “Trusted Advisor”.
By understanding their needs, you can provide them with the best solution for their problem.
Educate yourself on the latest trends in your industry so that you can better understand how your product or service can help your leads. Use data to inform your sales strategies. By understanding which channels are generating the most leads, you can focus your efforts on those channels.
Align with marketing by working together to create targeted content that will attract and nurture leads. By aligning your efforts, you can ensure that sales and marketing teams are working towards the same goal.
Focus on cold leads by using tools like LinkedIn and Twitter to reach out to them. By building relationships with cold leads, you can turn them into warm leads that are more likely to convert.
By understanding the changes that have taken place, you can position your business for success in the post-pandemic world.
You may be wondering what's next for B2B demand generation in the wake of the pandemic. Here are a few things to consider:
Go digital. In a world where so many people are now working remotely, focus on digital marketing tactics you can execute from anywhere. You may want to use tools like email, social media, and content marketing to reach buyers where they are.
Prioritize quality over quantity. It's more important than ever to focus on creating quality content that resonates with buyers and helps them solve their business problems: the only way to cut through the clutter and capture attention in a noisy digital world.
Experiment and test new approaches. Continuous experimentation and new methods to demand generation are the only way to find what works best for your company and continue succeeding in a rapidly changing world.
B2B demand generation has changed in the past few months due to the pandemic. Here are three ways it has changed:
1. Organizations have had to get more creative with their demand gen tactics due to travel restrictions and social distancing.
2. The pandemic has created a heightened sense of urgency among buyers, which has led to shorter buying cycles.
3. B2B buyers are more likely to research and buy from trustworthy suppliers.
With more and more experts stressing on creating demand than trying to capture it, the future of demand generation marketing is both challenging and exciting.